FOUR MILESTONES TO BECOMING A PILOT
A minimum of 40 hours of flight training is necessary prior to taking the practical test with an FAA Flight Examiner to receive your Private Pilots Certificate.
During this training you will become proficient in preflight prep and procedures, take-offs, landings and go-arounds, ground reference maneuvers, navigation, slow flight, stalls, basic instruments, emergency operations, night and post flight operations.
There are 4 paths to meet FAA medical requirements. The Basic Medical can be issued by a State-Licensed Physician. The First -Third Class Medical can only be issued by a FAA Medical Examiner. First-Class – Airline Transport Pilot,
Second-Class – Commercial Pilot; Flight Engineer; Flight Navigator; or Air Traffic Control Tower Operator. (Note: This category of air traffic controller does not include FAA employee air traffic control specialists), Third-Class – Private Pilot or Recreational Pilot
A knowledge test is also required before the flight examination. A student can take a formal class or do independent study to achieve a passing score. The test must be taken at a certified location. Applicants may contact the following central registration numbers for additional information or to schedule testing appointments:
Computer Assisted Testing Service (CATS) 1-800-947-4228
PSI / LaserGrade Computer Testing 1-800-211-2753
Once you have met the flight training and knowledge requirements and have the appropriate medical certificate, your instructor will send you to a FAA Certified Flight Examiner who will take you through a two part examination. After successful completion of the oral exam and the check ride, you will be awarded your Private Pilots Certificate. The oral exam and flight demonstration will focus on your decision making skills and proficiency to meet the practical standards.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the path to Airline Transport Pilot?
How old do I have to be to begin flight training?
There is no minimum age to begin flight training. Although, prior to testing for your pilot certificate you must be at least 17 years of age (or 16 if applying to operate a glider or balloon). Here is a link to the FAA Student Pilot Guide: https://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/handbooks_manuals/aviation/media/student_pilot_guide.pdf
Am I too old to begin flight training?
No, by rule there is no age limit. Here is a link to the FAA Student Pilot Guide: http://Here is a link to the FAA Student Pilot Guide: https://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/handbooks_manuals/aviation/media/student_pilot_guide.pdf
Is there an airport with flight training near me?
Chances are there is an airport within a 20 minute drive of your home where you can receive flight training. To earn your wings, you can use an independent flight instructor, a commercial 141 flight school or a collegiate program. The Louisiana Airport Directory is a great resource to find your base airport.
How long does it take to earn a private pilot certificate?
In most cases the time it takes to build proficiency has a direct correlation to how frequently you fly. A minimum of 40 hours of flight time is required. The average flight hours for students taking their Flight Examination is currently 60.